Does Alarplasty Leave Scars for Life?

I am considering an alarplasty but I'm scared about the scars. How big are the scars? Will they be red, and do they stay forever? Is it possible to view a picture somewhere? I have searched everywhere. Thanks a lot!

Doctor Answers (14)

Alarplasty Scars Photos

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Yes, the scars are permanent but if done properly very well hidden. I am giving you link to the photos of one of my patients, Its the woman on the bottom, she had alarplasty as part of the rhinoplasty and you cannot see the scars. I can even send you close up photos of the alar area if you wish.


Bedminster Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Scars from alarplasty are nearly imperceptible

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The incisions for an alarplasty are usually well hidden right on the alar/nasal/facial junction. They do tend to stay slightly pink for the first month or two depending upon skin type and coloration. With time these will fade and heal in the natural crease making them nearly imperceptible.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Does alarplasty leave scars for life?

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Yes, the scars will always be there. The best place to "see" what they look like is to go to the surgeon near you and see his results. If I show you great results - that's nice but not an indication of how your doctor would handle such a procedure. Also, skin type is important. Make sure you feel comfortable with the decision.

Michael Kulick, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
2.5 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Understanding Alarplasty: What you need to know...

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Nostril reduction surgery (called Alarplasty / Alar Base Reduction) is a procedure that can narrow the width of the nostril base, decrease the amount of nostril flaring, or decrease the size of the nostrils.

It is possible to perform this procedure alone or as part of a rhinoplasty. To accomplish narrowing of the nostril base and nostril flaring, an alar base resection is performed by removing a crescent shape wedge of tissue from the nostril wall.

The incisions are placed in the crease where the nostril wall meets the cheek. When performed correctly, the scar is hidden in the "new" crease where the nostril meets the cheek. The incisions can remain red for several weeks, but generally heal very well and are not noticable after that time.

C. Spencer Cochran, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 104 reviews

Alar Scars

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All skin incisions leave scars always. The goal is to camouflage them in inconspicuous locations. With alarplasty the incisions typically heal well in creases at the base of the nose. Ask your surgeon to show you representative examples. 

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

This scar should be so well hidden as to be imperceptible

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An alar base reduction is an effective procedure to narrow the base of the nose.  It also leaves a nearly imperceptible scar if the incision is placed in the appropriate location.

Cuts leave scars.

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As humans, we heal with scars, as apposed to say salamanders which form by regeneration. In the latter for example, the regenerated part eventualy heals without any hint of a scar, even under the microscope!

Anyway, back to your nose. A well execuited incision that heals uneventfully is carefully hidden in natural creases, and eventually, fades and is barely noticeable, even up close. It will take some time for the redness to fade, but is usually fine.

Remember however, sometimes healing doesn't go as expected, and an occasional scar revision may be required- this is minor however.


Alar base scars

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A properly performed alarplasty or nasal base reduction will usually leave a minimal scar. However all patients heal differently. With any surgery you must weigh the advantages against the disadvantages in order to dermine if the procedure will be beneficial to you. The possibility of a poor scar is always there and any scar is permanent.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews


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 Alarplasty is a general term for treatment of the nasal alar rims.  It can mean treating the flare or the width or both. Even when the incision goes along the lateral border of the alar rim, they usually heal exceedingly well. Yes, scars are permanent

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Alarplasty can mean several things

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Alarplasty is not a term in plastic surgery specific to a procedure and may mean many things. I will assume since you are asking about scars that you are referring to a procedure to narrow the nostril opening. If that is the case, then you will have scars. They are small, well concealed scars. Scars are forever. The natural course of scar healing is to first become red, then to fade over a 6-24 month period. Look for "alar base excision" or "Weir base excision" in your search. Good luck!

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.